Sad Note! Binnelanders Actor Ben Kruger Dies. Covid-19 has once again claimed the life of one of our public figures. Binnelanders’ Ben Kruger is the latest celebrity who lost his life to the virus. The veteran award winning actor passed away on the 25th of May 2021, at his home in Brooklyn, Pretoria at the age of 64.
He started acting career in theater where he performed in the plays Die Huigelaar as Cleante for TRUK in 1986, It’s a Boy!, Siener in die Suburbs as ‘Jakes’ at the State Theatre, Pretoria. In 2000, he performed in the play Hartebees directed by Alexander Strachan. He later directed the play Heart Like a Stomach produced by Ian Fraser at the Windybrow Theatre.
Kruger was known for his role as Okkie Ferreira in the popular Afrikaans soapie which airs on KykNET. Kruger also landed a role in the 1997 movie ‘Mandela and De Klerk’ where he played James Gregory, who was a former prisoner and later friend to Nelson Mandela.
The seasoned actor also starred in ‘Zero Tolerance’,’ 7de Laan’, ‘Jacob’s Cross’, ‘Silent Witness’, ‘Soul Buddyz’, ‘Riemvasmaak’, and ‘Triptiek’.
In 2006, he won the Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama Series for the role ‘Sakkie’. In 2007, he was awarded the Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Comedy Gabriël. In 2020, he won the Golden Horn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Soap for his role, ‘Okkie Ferreira’ in Binnelanders.
Kruger was born on 25 March 1957 in Bothaville, South Africa. His father was a pastor in the local AGS congregation and his mother hailed from Bloemfontein. At the age of two, he moved to Cape Town with his family. Then at the age of four, he moved to Johannesburg where he completed his schooling at Helpmekaar Boys’ High School.
After school, Kruger served in the South African Navy for 18 months, as he was conscripted for national service, after which he obtained his BA (Drama) at the University of Pretoria. We extend our sincere condolences to his family, loved ones, colleagues and fans.